Friday, April 24, 2009

Many Ghosts of Dr. Graves #17

In those early days of his career at Charlton Comics, Aparo did many stories for their spooky comics, including The Many Ghosts of Dr. Graves. Here's the first page from his story in issue 17. What I find interesting about this page is how Aparo seems to be working hard to maintain artist Pat Boyette's interpretation of the title character, so much so that a quick glimpse at a thumbnail might lead one to guess that this was a Boyette story (that title lettering--"Place of Honor"--may be a major contributor to this impression: it doesn't look very Aparoesque, does it? And it does look much like Boyette's lettering--Pat, like Jim, did his own lettering usually!).


  1. craig (benday-dot from CBR)April 28, 2009 at 10:07 PM

    Hi Michael,

    Your blog just keeps getting better. I love its diversity and the great variety of "angles" and approaches you devote to the many facets of Aparo. Excuse the triviality of a question I have in light of all the great information and entertainment I get out of your blog. However, I notice that Aparo, when he initialed his work in his distinctive manner actually employed at least two styles. One can be seen in the Doctor Graves #17 cover you highlight above where the J is seen to the left of the A. The other can be noted in that gorgeous rogues gallery splash you feature from Comic Reader. In this instance (from 1976) he reverses his initials, or at least the A looks above the J. A slight difference in style, but usually artists are quite particular and distinct in how they sign their work (though I know others like Toth varied his sig a little over the years as well). Is their a clear point when Aparo adopted his varied initialing styles? Again forgive this anal inquiry. I do love you blog. Craig.

  2. Funny you should mention that, Craig! One of the subjects Chris Khalaf and I covered back in the print days of this fanzine was the Aparo signature, which mutated significantly throughout his career. I've been wanting to revisit the topic here, and I'll do so in a soon-upcoming article.

  3. craig (benday-dot on cbr)April 29, 2009 at 8:04 PM

    I definitely look forward to it MW! Those out of the way examinations are the the sorts of "small good things" that so often enhance an appreciation of those whom we admire. Whether it be your blog or the Jack Kirby Collector (in which I'm always rooting about) I delight in the under the microscope look almost as much as I enjoy the brilliant big picture view. Lucky for us, the readers of your blog, you serve both perspectives so very well. Craig.